Byrne doesn’t sense it’s over

The Ottawa 67’s woke up Wednesday morning and looked out the hotel windows to see chunks of ice flowing down the Ottawa River, a sure sign of spring in the Upper Ottawa Valley.

The 67’s just hope their season isn’t slipping away, and would like nothing more than to get back to Mattawa just one more time because it could mean they’d have forced a Game 7 in their Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference quarterfinal with the Sudbury Wolves.

Down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series after a heartbreaking, last-minute goal in regulation and a game-winner 33 seconds into overtime in Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss, the 67’s are playing sudden-death hockey for the rest of the series. The series resumes with Game 4 tonight at the Rona Centre at 7 p.m.

If a Game 5 is necessary, it will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. at home. Game 6 would be in Sudbury on Monday followed by an overnight stay in Mattawa, and, if Ottawa had managed to win three straight, a Game 7 on Tuesday at the Rona Centre.

It’s a tall order, but the 67’s could just as easily be up 2-1 in the series if they’d received a few more bounces in the opening three games. That would be more in line with a No. 2 seed in the East playing No. 7 Sudbury.

Ottawa head coach Chris Byrne has been down 3-1 in three different playoffs series with the Tier II junior Nepean Raiders and watched his teams rebound.

“I have been around teams down in a series. where you sensed it might be over,” said Byrne. “I don’t get that feeling here.

“Especially with the way the schedule works, with two in a row at home, I still feel we have a chance. And I feel like the players sense that, too.”

The 67’s were scheduled to return home Wednesday afternoon, skate briefly and then look ahead to Game 6.

One plausible theory on what ails the team is that, during the late stages of the regular season, …..Read more:

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